In news that I'm sure won't shock anyone, the brains of mamas who experience postpartum depression have been shown to...
In news that I'm sure won't shock anyone, the brains of mamas who experience postpartum depression have been shown to have anomalies not seen in brains of mamas who don't experience PPD. It makes sense. Women with postpartum depression act different than women without PPD, but now new research shows that some specific differences in brain functioning may interfere with how women process their own emotions and the emotions of their infants. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ran some MRI brain scans on a group of women with PPD and saw reduced activity in parts of the brain that control emotional responses and recognize emotional cues in others. Postpartum depression can go on for months, making it a serious problem for a mama trying to be a new parent. Not to mention that previous research has shown that maternal depression can also negatively impact an infant's mental and physical development. How is this useful: Hopefully, more research into this topic will show how brain patterns may respond to treatments for PPD including psychotherapy, medications or hormones. Better treatment means less time spent dealing with PPD and that's a very good deal. The study, which was partly funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, was published Sept. 15 in the online advance edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry. *Source

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